Rakia Finley is an American software executive, Women in Tech Initiative Leader, full-stack developer, Salesforce MVP, mother, private investor, and philanthropist. She is best known for her work with the Obama Administration on their "Girls in STEM" initiative and continues to develop innovative technology solutions and community initiatives that promote diversity in STEM for girls of color.
Named FemTech's 2016 & 2017 Powerful Woman Programmer, she is one of the highest-earning African-American females in the software industry and North America's first black female owner of a private software and product development firm.
Finley was raised by a single mother in Portland, Oregon. On weekdays—after school—Rakia would spend her evening in a cubicle waiting for her mother to get off work. This is where Rakia got her first chance to enter data into a custom database; there was no turning back. At 15 years old, Rakia had convinced the executive team of the Washington Hospital Center to hire her on a contract basis to provide data entry to their billing department. After a three-month trial, the department reported an increase in accuracy, turn around, and detailed data. After one year of working there, Rakia produced the efforts of a five-person database team on her own and moved their 78% paper process to 10% moving their billing system to over a 98% efficiency process in 2002. By 19, she was the founder of PinStripe Consulting, a database development firm. After delivering over 500 custom database solutions to Virginia and Washington, DC nonprofits, she launched Surge Assembly, a full-service software development firm focused on enhancing company revenues and resources. Her determination for better software-led her to build a custom solution for Starwood Hotels in 2006, making them on the first leading hotel, with virtual booking and room management.
Credited with creating a more realistic approach to data, innovation, business development, and solution-based engineering, Finley continues to revolutionize how organizations and businesses utilize technology as a resource for enhancing exceptional growth.
By 2010, Rakia had reinvented Surge Assembly with a focus on educating business leaders on active engineering and software development, with an underlying emphasis on inclusion, diversity, executive mindfulness, and removing bias. Finley has also emerged as an entrepreneur's dream come true, delivering products for founders that average receiving over $27 million in acquisition in as fast as six months. In 2015, Finley Co-Founded FIN Digital, a full-service senior-level development firm, building artificial intelligence, natural language processors, software, and hardware applications for over 300 founders and organizations. In 2018, Copper & Vine - a creative solutions agency in the business of reimagining - was formed as an augmentation of the FIN Digital work to blend Rakia's passions: architecting award-winning technologies, making companies that scale, and building brands that produce results.
Outside of managing her companies, Rakia continues to lead initiatives on workplace challenges for women of color in hopes of developing solutions for building more productive